We are not sure we want to plug this (having not seen it) ... but then again it could be really good.
In the end this is how we are handling it.
(BBC 1, Mon - Thurs, 7.00-7.30 pm)
|Click for large image|
‘You know what happens when a portrait that has been painted on a panel becomes obliterated through external stains. The artist does not throw away the panel, but the subject of the portrait has to come and sit again, and then the likeness is redrawn on the same material. Even so it was with the All-holy Son of God. He, the image of the Father, came and dwelt in our midst, in order that He might renew mankind after Himself, and seek out His lost sheep, even as He says in the Gospel’ ( On the Incarnation - St Athanasius p41-42)
So let us jump in the Yule tide and take a swim—
Let's revel at these angels like the shepherds did,
Soak in all the news and never keep the tale hid.
Though man's tried to suppress the word with hateful scorn,
And the advertisers try to keep it forlorn,
This melody plays, even to the bowels of hell:
Our God is with us, Jesus, our Emanuel.
[the end of a poem by Kent Travis. And what a last two lines!]
As I consider this humble Hebrew girl, and consider that God chose her to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, I am awed. This woman bore the Creator of the universe in her womb. He clutched to her breasts as a babe. She soothed his infant fears giving him the joy and comfort that a mother provides to her children. The Second Person of the GodHead, the Eternal Son of God, owed (owes) to her all of the duties of the 5th Commandment, the Creator bound to honor His creature. Mind-blowing. And Blessed indeed.To see the rest of this article go to De Regno Christi
When Christ came to earth over two thousand years ago, he came to inaugurate his kingdom successfully. During his ministry here, he bound Satan. Within a generation of his crucifixion he destroyed the old world of the old covenant and ushered in a new heavens and a new earth. The church is now the Holy City of God and all of the nations are brought into it. She will continue to preach the gospel on earth for thousands upon thousands of years, progressively growing in number and strength until one day, far in the future, the entire world will be transformed by the power of Christ and an Eden-like paradise will be restored. At some point in that golden day, Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. Those who rejected his gospel will be sent to eternal punishment. The dead in Christ will be raised, joined to their resurrected bodies, and all the saints of all the ages will live together in union and communion with the Triune God for eternity. (p39-40, Duane Garner 'Why the End is Not Near')
Thou shalt not inordinately desire what thou hast not; and especially what belongs to thy neighbor. It includes the positive command to be contented with the allotments of Providence; and the negative injunction not to repine, or complain on account of the dealings of God with us, or to envy the lot or possessions of others.
The command to be contented does not imply indifference, and it does not enjoin slothfulness. A cheerful and contented disposition is perfectly compatible with a due appreciation of the good things of this world, and diligence in the use of all proper means to improve our condition in life. (Hodge, Charles 'Systematic Theology, Vol 3 p 498 quoted in Sinai Strategy)Quoting Philippians 4:11-13 North says: 'Any external condition is acceptable to the man who is content with his present role in God's plan for the ages. But having little is usually the condition against which men rebel.'
Have you ever thought about why you were born into your particular circumstances? If you are reading this blog entry you are most likely a Christian whose life has been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. You are also likely relatively wealthy, at least compared to most people living in the world. If you have the ability to eat three times per day and have shelter over your head, you are better off than many people in the world. If you earn $25,000 per year, you are the richest 10% of the world. You are rich. In fact if you earn $2,200 per year you are the richest 15% of the world. If you reading this you are literate and likely had several years of education. If so you have received more education than hundreds of millions of people around the world. Perhaps you have gone to college, even graduate school.
So why? Why you? Why your particular circumstances? There are people around the world who might be asking the same questions. Wondering why they weren't born in America. Wondering why they can't eat three times per day, why they don't have the luxury of throwing food away. Wondering what it would be like to go to school or attend college or even read. Wondering what a warm bed feels like.
You could have been born as an impoverished child in an unreached nation. Perhaps as a girl born into a Muslim family where you would be forbidden to show anything beyond what can be seen through the eye slits of your veil and could be beaten if you disobeyed even the simplest command of your father. You could have been born in a remote village in Vietnam with little food or education and no opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You could have been born as a girl in Africa who will eventually be sold by your parents into sexual slavery. That could have been you.
But it's not you. Instead you were born into privileged circumstances. Blessed physically, educationally, financially, and spiritually. Why? Only by the grace of God. What is our response then to such blessing and grace?
Orwell paints an ultimately dehumanizing and horribly suppressive view of the days to come: ... 'If you want a vision of the future, picture a boot stomping on a human face forever.' (p7)
The Scriptures teach us that if you want a vision of the future, picture a foot crushing the head of a serpent, forever. (p10)
[Duane Garner 'Why the End is Not Near']
The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present, that is unbearable.
Remember one is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.
C.S. Lewis, Letter to An American Lady
The apostle Paul gave thanks for his friends in Thessalonica
Even though, as far as we know, none of them could play the harmonica.
They accepted the gospel with joy and stayed keen
Even though some of the people around them were quite mean.
All true needs - such as food, drink, and companionship - are satiable. llegitimate wants- pride, envy, greed - are insatiable. (p107 Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture)
1. Spontaneous desire (one that catches you off guard)
2. Nursing that desire (sometimes called titillatio)
3. Making a plan to achieve it unlawfully
4. Accomplishing the desire.The key word is under 3. Unlawfully.
Lust is sexual coveting. It is not wrong, say for Chuck to desire a sexual relationship with Alice, given that both are single. That is a God-given incentive towards marriage. It is wrong for him to desire sex with her apart from marriage, for that is a desire to violate God's law.(p846-849) DOCTRINE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE (Theology of Lordship)
The longer formulations [in 4th (Exodus 20:8-11) and 10th Commandments (Exodus 20:17)] discourage us from trying to find exceptions to the universality of this commandment. 'You shall not covet anything' would not be enough, for our sinful hearts (and the heart is the culprit here) covet in specifics as well as generalities. So God gives us both, and, as with the ninth commandment, focuses on relationships between the believer and his neighbor - the relationships disrupted by coveting. (p844 DOCTRINE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE (Theology of Lordship))
Stealing calls to mind such felonies as robbery, extortion, and burglary. People do not commonly realize that it has more subtle and respectable forms. We may understand this better if we consider why money is useful for the conduct of economic affairs. The shoemaker accepts money in exchange for his product, even though he has no direct use for it, because he knows that it can be exchanged for articles he values. Money serves him as a medium of exchange and thus, although it is perfectly useless as a commodity, permits him to transcend the barter system and to engage in a specialized economic function. Secondly, it serves a store of value, permitting the shoemaker to save rather than consume, and so accumulate capital for investment. Without capital investment there can be no prosperity, a fact that is true of all economic systems. To steal from the shoemaker the fruit of his labour, one can take his product or the money he has received for it. Or else one can so tamper with the monetary system that the money will not serve to purchase economic goods equivalent to the product the shoemaker provides. Outright stealing is widely recognized for what it is, but the economic crime that accomplishes the same thing through debasing the money is not. Yet the motive and the effect are the same.I read this by Jeff Randall. Here is an appetising quote from it:
The problem with counterfeit paper is that it’s not backed by gold or any other store of value. Whereas proper money, printed by the Bank of England, is, of course, er… also not backed by gold or any other store of value.
The tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God's praise, is now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds the tongue to its good behaviour. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue, the teeth and lips; and this commandment is a third fence set about it, that it should not break forth into evil. The Ten Commandments (Body of Practical Divinity)
What then is a lie? I would say that a lie is a word or act that intentionally deceives a neighbour in order to hurt him. It is a false witness against a neighbor.Is everybody my neighbour? The parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) greatly expanded the Jews concept of their neighbour. But not even this parable universalises it. Thieves, murderers are not our neighbours but our enemies. There is a form of love that is due to enemies, but this is not incompatible with a desire to bring God's judgement on them (certainly this is the case for God whose jealous anger is not incompatible with His general love for all his creatures). Nor is it incompatible with self-defence, punishment or just war.
It is in this way that I would understand the rather substantial number of Bible passages in which someone misleads an enemy, without incurring any condemnation, and sometimes even being commended:1. Exodus 1:15-21 [the Israelite midwives in Egypt]
Most people would deplore the criminal who perjures himself in court, but we have become accustomed to politicians, business men, journalists and sportsmen who lie to cover their poor judgement, insider deals, bent informers or drug taking. A society can never be healthy or secure when lies form part of its unwritten code in politics, economics, the media - or religion. p246 The Ten Commandments for Today
The dream of absolute free speech is a myth and a delusion. No society has ever granted it. We do not recognise the right of a man to shout 'fire!' in a crowded theatre, not to call for the execution of the President, nor to publish totally false and malicious statements with respect to a man. Speech must be responsible to be free, and there is a social necessity for freedom of responsible speech. (p577 The Institutes of Biblical law: A Chalcedon study with three appendices by Gary North)
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" 25 "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. 32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:21-35Mark...is describing a typical Sabbath day in the life of our Lord. He provides us with a concrete description of Jesus' Sabbath life so that we can meditate upon it and take it as a pattern for our own observance of the Lord's Day. The delightful thing is that Mark gives us a vision for the entire day, beginning with corporate worship and extending to works of mercy and necessity as well as fellowship. (p70 The Taste of Sabbath: How to Delight in God's Rest)
...the past is not subject to the kinds of controls and observation that science requires. Interpreting the past involves guesswork to a far greater degree than observational science, and thus there is far more room for presupposition and assumptions to play a role. (p126 Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One)
... the eighth through tenth commandments all deal in some way with property law. One may even summarize the 'second table of the law' by saying that the fifth commandment requires respect for others, which means that we may not unjustly take life (sixth commandment), a spouse (seventh), or property (eighth through tenth). DOCTRINE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE (Theology of Lordship) p831
The share of our economy taken up by the government (ie the public sector) is now 53 per cent; in Communist China the figure is 25 per cent. Even at the peak of the Soviet Union the figure was only 70 per cent. At the height of Britain’s economic power in the Victorian era, the figure was 10 per cent. James Delingpole
|Photoshop gives the evolutionary edge to anything!|
I once watched a stoat hunt down and kill a rabbit - just the kind of 'selective pressure' that should (according to Darwinian principles) cause the emergence of a tribe of super-rabbits that could outrun stoats. No problem with that. But natural selection is never going to endow cabbages with a turn of speed sufficient to outrun their rabbit predators, because cabbages can't move in the first place.
Natural selection can only work by preserving or 'selecting' fortuitous improvements in some functional aspect of the organism.
...complex biological systems cannot evolve step-by-step as taught by new-Darwinianism, because until they have become functioning systems they serve no purpose and natural selection cannot operate upon them. In asking how a irreducible complex system could arise, we're not asking how rapid-rabbits might evolve from also-rans but how a cabbage might grow legs.
|Patron Saint of Thieves|
The thing that is forbidden in this commandment, is meddling with another man's property.The causes of theft:
A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.
I have never liked sex. I do not think I ever will. It seems just the opposite of love.
The thing I want more than anything else? I want to have children. I used to feel for every child I had, I would adopt another.Marilyn Monroe died on August 5th 1962, apparently having commited suicide, not long after one of the (12/14?) abortions she had.
The sexual revolution was supposed to bring us liberty and fulfilment, yet society seems to have more hang-ups than ever. We have - it is claimed - better sex education than ever (it is certainly more explicit), yet it results in single teenage mothers and millions of abortions each year. We are told that sex is recreational and purely for pleasure, yet we are also told that it gives our lives meaning and purpose. Can it really be both? We have more sexual crimes than ever, and women seem to feel less safe on our streets than ever before. We find a high-tech pornography business that, on a worldwide basis, makes more money than the entire car industry. We know more about the mechanics of the orgasm than ever before, yet we seem to know less about how to make a relationship last beyond a few months. Is it possible that what we took to be the gateway to freedom was , in fact, the door to slavery?
the problem with pornography is not the pornography
One of the more important lessons for us to learn is that while the occasions for sin are external and 'out there', the real problem is with our lusts within.
We must come to rethink the relationship between masculinity and being seduced. John Milton uses a striking phrase in Paradise Lost, referring to those men who were seduced by the 'daughters of men.' When shown the future seduction of these men, these descendents of his, Adam attempts to blame the women involved -'Man's woe holds on the same, from Woman to begin.' The angel replies to the contrary: ' From Man's effeminate slackness it begins.'
At the heart of masculinity is the possession of authority and taking of initiative; by creation design a man is intended by God to be a head, a head willing to sacrifice himself. But part of our word seduction comes from the Latin word duco, which means 'I lead'.
When a man is seduced he is being led, when a woman seduces she is leading. So when a man is seduced (whether by a living woman or a pornographic woman is immaterial) he is relinquishing and abdicating his assigned role.
The fundamental change in individual attitude and behaviour that is required, is in our assumption that the way in which we conduct our private lives in relation to both the production and parenting of children or the break-up a parental relationship, is a private matter which only affects the individuals directly concerned.
Without being in any way over dramatic or alarmist my prediction would be, looking back and seeing where we have come from and projecting forward on the present trajectory, that the effects of family breakdown on the life of the nation and ordinary people in this country will, within the next 20 yrs be as marked and as destructive as the affects of global warming. We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps. For what is the point of pouring resources into the physical protection of society if its mental health is so damaged and undermined that life for many is so miserably unhappy that it is hardly worth living anyway.
Up and down the land, day in and day out, thousands of families are trooping through hundreds of courts in front of hundreds of judges seeking their assistance to resolve family disputes. High Court. County Court, Family proceedings court. High Court judges, Circuit judges, District judges and magistrates. All are inundated with cases. Thousands upon thousands of children are involved. Both in the public law Care system because their parents cannot cope (or worse are guilty of abusing their own or their step children) and in the private law system because their parents cannot sort out their disputes when they separate, without some help from the system.
It is a never ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress. For those of us involved in it on a daily basis it is very demanding and at times stressful work.
Suppose there is some kind of Christian gathering, and a woman comes to it dressed like she really shouldn’t be. She arrives in a tight top, and proceeds to headlight everyone. What would happen if, after the pastor greeted her, he commented on the size of her breasts? She would be horrified, the people standing nearby would all turn white, someone would bring charges against the pastor before the elders, and so forth. And all because he commented on the two most obvious objets d’art in the room. In this scenario, the one guilty of a breach of decorum would be the one who said something about them, and not the person intent upon displaying them to a bemused public. We are afflicted with a real problem of schizophrenia. We are playing show and tell, but aren’t allowed to tell.If this quote offends you I suggest you don't read the rest of the article it came from. However I for one not only found this paragraph amusing but astute in it's observations. Like many man (I guess) I confess to not understanding male fashion let alone female fashion. As a guy, as a Dad (and as a Pastor!), I found the whole article very helpful in addressing the nitty gritty matter of applying a passage like 1 Timothy 2:9.
I have asked three things of Jesus for each daughter: that she would love him, that she would love her family, and that she would love the church. So far, it would seem Jesus has honored my requests.
This has been my strategy: I will be a man, a husband, and a dad shaped by repentance rather than religion.
When twentieth-century people step outside and look at the sky, they see a huge atomic furnace burning hydrogen during the day, and a small planetoid reflecting the light of the sun at night. They also see other atomic furnaces that appear very small because they are far away.
When twentieth-century people step back inside their homes and pick up the latest coffee table book of astronomy, they see color-enhanced photographs of distant galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, and binary starts. They see speculative drawings of quasars, neutron starts, and black holes.p 53 Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical View of the World